While it’s certainly not necessary to attend pre-marriage counseling in order to have a happy and healthy marriage, many couples choose to do so anyway.
If you and your fiance are considering pre-marriage counseling, there are some important questions that you’ll need to answer during your sessions.
Answering these questions honestly and openly can help you lay the foundation for a strong and lasting marriage.
Why Pre-Marriage Counseling is Important
Pre-marriage counseling gives couples the opportunity to discuss important issues in their relationship before they get married.
Couples who attend pre-marriage counseling often find that it helps them to identify potential areas of conflict and to develop strategies for dealing with those conflicts.
Additionally, pre-marriage counseling can help couples to address any lingering concerns or issues that they may have about getting married.
For example, if one partner is unsure about getting married, pre-marriage counseling can provide an opportunity to explore those doubts and fears.
What to Expect From Pre-Marriage Counseling
Pre-marriage counseling typically consists of a series of sessions with a counselor or therapist.
During these sessions, couples will discuss a variety of topics related to marriage, including communication, conflict resolution, finances, and intimacy.
Couples will also be asked to complete exercises and assessments designed to help them gain insights into their relationship.
Pre-marriage counseling can be conducted individually, as a couple, or with other couples.
Now that you know a little bit more about pre-marriage counseling, let’s take a look at some important questions that you should answer during your sessions.
1. What are your expectations for marriage?
It’s important to be on the same page with your partner when it comes to what you expect out of marriage.
Do you both envision a traditional relationship where one person works and the other stays home with the kids? Or do you see yourselves sharing childcare and housework responsibilities equally?
Discussing your expectations early on can help prevent any misunderstandings or hurt feelings down the road.
2. What Are Your Expectations for Your Spouse?
In addition to discussing your own personal expectations for marriage, it’s also important to talk about your expectations for your spouse.
What kind of partner do you expect them to be? What role do you expect them to play in your relationship?
It’s important to remember that no one is perfect. You and your spouse will make mistakes and have disagreements.
However, as long as you have realistic expectations for each other, you’ll be more likely to weather the storms and come out stronger on the other side.
3. What Are Your Deal-breakers?
Every relationship has its own set of deal-breakers. These are the things that you absolutely cannot tolerate in a relationship.
For example, some people may have a deal-breaker that their partner must be faithful. Others may have a deal-breaker that their partner must be honest.
It’s important to discuss your deal-breakers during pre-marriage counseling so that you can be sure that you and your spouse are on the same page.
If there are certain things that you absolutely cannot tolerate, it’s important to make that known from the start.
4. What Are Your Boundaries?
In addition to deal-breakers, every relationship has its own set of boundaries. These are the things that you’re comfortable with in a relationship and the things that you’re not comfortable with.
For example, some people may be comfortable with their partner spending time with other people of the opposite sex. Others may not be comfortable with that.
It’s important to discuss your boundaries during pre-marriage counseling so that you can be sure that you and your spouse are on the same page.
If there are certain things that you’re not comfortable with, it’s important to make that known from the start.
5. What are your individual goals?
It’s important that each partner has their own goals and interests outside of the relationship.
Marriage is a partnership, but that doesn’t mean that each person has to give up their individuality entirely.
Discussing your goals with each other can help ensure that everyone feels fulfilled both inside and outside of the relationship.
6. How do you handle conflict?
Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, but it’s important to learn how to deal with it in a constructive way.
Do you tend to bottle up your feelings until they explode? Or do you find it easy to communicate openly and calmly when there’s a problem?
Talking about how you typically handle conflict can help you learn more about each other and develop a plan for dealing with disagreements down the road.
7. What are your financial goals?
Money is one of the most common sources of conflict in marriage, so it’s important to be on the same page when it comes to financial goals.
Do you want to save up for a down payment on a house? Or are you content renting an apartment indefinitely?
Do you plan on having children right away or waiting a few years? Discussing your financial goals early on can help prevent any money-related arguments down the road.
8. What are your religious beliefs?
Religion can be a touchy subject, but it’s important to talk about faith before getting married. If you and your fiance have different religious beliefs, are you willing to compromise?
Are there certain traditions or practices that are important to either of you? Discussing religion early on can help ensure that both of your needs are met within the context of your relationship.
9. What are your thoughts on monogamy?
For many couples, monogamy is non-negotiable, but it’s still worth talking about before getting married.
Is fidelity important to both of you? Are there any circumstances under which either of you would be open to exploring non-monogamous relationships?
Discussing monogamy early on can help prevent any unexpectedly hurt feelings or jealousies down the road.
10. What are your thoughts on sex?
Sex is an important part of any marriage, but it’s not always easy to talk about openly.
What are each of your needs and desires when it comes to sex? Are there any activities or fantasies that either of you is interested in exploring?
Discussing sex early on can help ensure that both of your needs are being met within the context of your relationship.
11. What are your thoughts on children?
Having children is a huge decision, so it’s important to talk about it before getting married. Is either of you opposed to having children altogether?
If not, how many children would each of you like to have someday? When would be the ideal time for starting or growing your family?
Discussing children early on can help ensure that both of your needs and desires are being met within the context of your relationship.
These are just some of the important questions that you’ll need to answer during pre-marriage counseling sessions.
Answering these questions honestly and openly can help lay the foundation for a strong and lasting marriage.